By Lance Guma
It’s the proverbial “like father like son.”
Over 25 years after Alois Bunjira set domestic football on fire with dazzling displays for Darryn T, Blackpool, Caps United and five more clubs in South Africa, his 16-year-old son Alois Junior Tinashe Bunjira is doing the same in the UK, scoring 6 goals in 6 matches for his new team.
After some -eye-catching performances for Prince Edward High School where he was on a half-scholarship from Form 3 to Form 5, in September 2019, Junior Bunjira was chosen for an exchange programme and scholarship at Oswestry School in Shropshire in the United Kingdom.
Speaking to Nehanda Radio, Bunjira said of his son; “as he was starting his form 5 at PE (Prince Edward High School) I got a call from the school soccer coach who told me that Junior had been chosen for an exchange programme and scholarship at Oswestry School in Shropshire.
“They asked me. if I was willing to let Junior take up the scholarship. Who would miss out on chance like That? I agreed and we started sorting out his papers.
“Oswestry School sent us all the necessary documents that we needed for the VISA application and they appointed a VISA agent to help us apply for the UK VISA and permit.
“A month later all the documents were in place and we got Junior the ticket to travel to UK in September 2019 to start his A level at Oswestry School on a football full scholarship.
“So he is studying A level while playing football for the school. So far he has done well scoring 6 goals in 6 matches for the school so far….with 4 assists. Oswestry is now in the final of the Schools County Cup to be played later this semester,” an excited Bunjira told Nehanda Radio.
Junior Bunjira did his Grade 1 to 5 in South Africa where his father plied his trade with 5 clubs, QwaQwa Stars, Bidvest Wits, Mamelodi Sundowns, back to Bidvest Wits, Jomo Cosmos and FC AK.
When Bunjira relocated back to Zimbabwe his son “completed his primary school at Alfred Beit Primary School. He was footballer of the Year at Alfred Beit for 2 consecutive years,” he said.
“I moved him to Dewure Secondary School where he got a football scholarship and was part of the Dewure Under 15 team that won the Copa Cola Under 15 tournament when he was in form 1. At Form 3 I moved him to Prince Edward High School where he also got a half scholarship.
“He has always played football even before he started primary school. I was never in doubt about his passion for football even from when he was 2 years old,” Bunjira told Nehanda Radio.
Junior Bunjira was recently invited to train with TNS Academy, a football academy in Wales, which is about 20 miles from his Oswestry School. He is training with them on Fridays and weekends.
Bunjira Senior is a die hard Manchester United supporter.
His son is playing football some 2 hours away from their home ground Old Trafford, dubbed the Theatre of Dreams. It remains to be seen if this particular dream can come true? Nehanda Radio